Ships and boats

From the story of the world's only surviving tea clipper, Cutty Sark, and the voyages of discovery made by Captain Cook's sloop HMS Resolution, to the evolution of shipbuilding and design through the ages, we delve into the fascinating history of ships and boats.

Views in the South Seas... The Resolution beating through the ice with the Discovery in the most eminent danger in the distance.jpg

All of Cook's remarkable discoveries were undertaken in relatively humble ships designed for hauling coal. 

From the 19th century onwards, ships began to be built from iron and steel. Sails were also replaced with steam engines and paddles with propellers.

'Royal George', dead astern D4082_7_slider.JPG

Royal George is a great example of a ship model from the 18th century and provides a fascinating insight into the ship design of the period.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel at Millwall during the building of the 'Great Eastern'.jpg

Discover how life on the River Thames has evolved in the past 300 years at the National Maritime Museum's Maritime London gallery.

Jonathan Hulls

Traditionally, Jonathan Hulls had often been credited as the first person to conduct practical experiments involving steam-powered vessels. Why then, is his work not remembered?

Launch of a ship: The 'Royal George' at Deptford showing the launch of the 'Cambridge'_attraction_slider.jpg

Launching ceremonies of times past were often more barbarous than the champagne tradition of today.

First Vessels Roman trireme on the mosaic in Tunisia image.jpg

People have travelled by sea using ships and boats for centuries. The Egyptians, Greeks and Phoenicians made some of the earliest vessels. 

'Bellona' (1760) C1103_slider.JPG

The 74, a Third Rate, was the most important new ship-type of the later 18th century. Bellona was one of the most successful Royal Navy designs and became a prototype for its 74s.

The working Thames: Royal Docks_attraction_slider.jpg

Step back in time to the swinging sixties at three Eastend docks, the Royal Albert Dock, Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock.

The Charlotte Dundas

The Caird Library’s display case has a new display featuring items which tell the story of early steam vessels.